Been a while again, folks. I’ve been very much occupied with my bike, and some other shit going on. Maybe some of that shit is interesting.
Let’s begin with the first big shit. A few months back, I wrote about the memories a specific brand of chocolate evokes with me. Memories of my grandfather. The good news is: he lived to see his 92nd birthday on April 7th. The I-don’t-really-know-news is: later that day, he poisoned himself and my grandmother with cyanide. Why is it not outright bad news? Because it was their choice. Well, we know for certain that it was Grandfather’s choice, and we knew that Grandmother knew of this plan, and while she never objected to being included in this, we suspect she was just along for the ride. But doing nothing to avert a foreseeable event is also a choice, to my mind, so it kind of was her choice, too.
The little turd next to the first lump would be the funeral of my Grandparents. There was a nice service, in which we disregarded many of my Grandfather’s requests. But funerals are for the living, and not for the dead. So we had a very nice sevice – in a church, which was counter his wishes, as well as the praying that commenced. Grandfather was very prejudiced toward religious organizations, especially the christian churches. The weirdest thing was probably that I was the one who began singing the Salve Regina, a very ancient plea in Latin to the Virgin Mary for mercy from Jesus and Heavenly Father, since I as an Atheist would be expected to side with my Grandfather against the religious “mush”. What should I say, I really like singing in Latin.
What else dropped out on me durin the past month of WordPress Posting Abstinence? Oh yes, there was my Birthday Party. Yeah, that didn’t turn out the way I expected. I am not entirely certain how many people I invited. 20? 30? Maybe even 40. How many came? 5 people. Some people were polite enough to tell me that they wouldn’t be able to make it. My sister broke her arm a week before the party, and my brother had a very important choir conducting seminar. There were some other good excuses, like having come down with the flu, or having been invited to another friend’s wedding which was on the very same day. Then there were those who told me a day before the party they weren’t coming, even though they told me two weeks earlier they wouldn’t miss it for the world. If I used facebook, I would have immediately unfriended them. But that wasn’t the unexpected part. The unexpected part happened the evening before my party: my best friend and roommate told me that my ex-girlfriend and second best friend had broken up with him. Say, what? I hadn’t even known that they were an item! I mean, I knew there was something weird going on with them. Maybe I didn’t want to believe that they wouldn’t ask me for my blessing in the matter. You know, Bro style. Speaking of Bro style, I don’t have to decide against my ex-girlfriend in this matter according to the Bro Code. I haven’t had sex with her in more than two years, which is kind of the magical threshold for a woman and a man becoming Bros – doesn’t apply to you and your wife, you perv! – and I wasn’t the one who betrayed their trust. Well, I’m not deciding at all for or against one or the other. I have few enough true friends as it is. Those would be 4 of the 5 people who attended my Birthday Party – one of them was just a +1, who is cool afaik, but this has only been the 2nd time I’ve met him – and one other who couldn’t make it, plus two suspended friendships.
Two days after my birthday party, I got on my bike for a very much anticipated tour. My plans for the tour have changed a lot since its inception, but the goal was always the same: ride my bicycle as much as possible for a week. In the end, I just got on my bike with a big-ass backpack containing a tent, a sleeping bag, some fresh cloathes, my medical supplies, and some food, and entered Flensburg into my Google Maps GPS navigation. Flensburg is 725 km -ca. 450 mi – from Fürth, where I live. I just wanted to see how far I’d get.
I didn’t get very far. After 140 km (ca. 80 mi), my rear wheel was so deformed that I could hardly control my bicycle. I limped my bicycle to the next town and got on a train back home. Since thd bike was still new, the bike shop guy fixed it as a warranty service free of charge. He also told me to have him check my bike the next time before I went on a tour like that. I thought to myself: 140 km in two days, well that’s an ok start. I could – and would – have done better hadn’t it been for a rear wheel too weak to support my weight. So I kicked back for a few days. That’s when I noticed my leg was terribly swollen. I hadn’t had that in months, not since I had been faithfully wearing my compression stalking and taking my anticoagulants after my operation in August. The doctor sent me to another doctor for an ultrasound to see if I had a new blood clot, which was unlikely, since I had been taking my Warfarin. Well, it was a new blood clot. Now it’s official: Coumarin-based anticoagulants don’t work for me. The alternative pills work as an anticoagulant, but my liver can’t break those down properly – i’m one of the 0.1% with this extreme liver-toxic side effect – so until there is a new cheap&easy alternative, I’m stuck with Heparin injections.
But, despite all the shit that’s been flying at me, I feel the sun on my skin. Because it really doesn’t matter. I just need to deal with it, and I’m doing that pretty well, because I can do what I really like: to ride my bike in the rain